Australian Federal Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Ali Baryalei, 33, a former Kings Cross bouncer, who is believed to be a prominent Australian Islamic State ringleader.
Baryalei has reportedly recruited at 30 Australians to fight with the IS, including high profile Australian religious extremist Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar.
The AFP confirmed a warrant was issued several months ago for Baryalei, who travelled to Syria in April last year.
The ABC’s 7.30 reported that Baryalei, who is from an aristocratic Afghan family that came to Australia as refugees, worked as a security guard in Kings Cross in Sydney.
His recruits, Sharrouf and Elomar, are also well-known to Australian authorities after threatening to kill troops serving in Iraq.
Sharrouf recently made international headlines when he posted a photo of a bay, believed to be his son, holding the severed head of man.
There are also reports that a 40 year-old Sydney man, Abu Yahya ash Shami, also fighting with the Islamic State has recently risen to the ranks of military commander, after proving his worth by beheading four people in northern Iraq.
There are now believed around 60 Australians fighting with the ISIS in Syria and Iraq, with an additional 100 working in active support of the terrorist cause.
With the increasing threat, ASIO could raise the country’s terrorism threat level from medium to high, the first time ever, following concerns from the organisation’s director-general David Irvine.
The Abbott government is reportedly expecting to receive formal advice from Irvine in what he has describes as an “elevated level of concern”.
Irvine told ABC’s 7.30: “I would say that at the moment it is at a very elevated level of medium. I’m certainly contemplating very seriously the notion of lifting it higher.”
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